AVON — The term “jam band” gets thrown around a lot in the music world — especially in places like Vermont and Colorado — but Twiddle keys and organ player Ryan Dempsey is not a fan of it. Instead, he prefers “improvisational band,” because he feels it more accurately describes what Twiddle does musically.
“We do try to break new ground and literally write completely new music on the spot,” Dempsey said. “This involves hand signals and gestures that we will give to each player to go to different keys or modes depending on how we feel to keep it lively and interesting to both us and the audience.
“Don’t get me wrong, we love jam band music too, but I just don’t think it’s the right identity for Twiddle.”
Hailing from Vermont, the quartet is comprised of Dempsey, Brook Jordan on drums and percussion, Zdenek Gubb on bass and Mihali Savoulidis on lead guitar. All four members are credited with vocals which Dempsey said is why their sound is described as having a “multi-genre approach.”
“Twiddle is not a band that has music being created by one person,” he said. “Four people are just as involved and dedicated to writing and providing different feels and genres based on the individual’s tastes and inspirations. Twiddle’s music is a result of all four of us putting in our own thoughts and musical backgrounds to create any number of genres we see fit. There is no leader when it comes to what specific kind of music we play.”
Ten years of music so far
After finding each other at Vermont’s Castleton State College in the fall of 2004, the young foursome took the area by storm, toured the northeast and composed a catalog of original tunes before becoming upperclassmen.
Released in 2010, the band’s debut, “The Natural Evolution of Consciousness,” showcased Twiddle’s lyrical and instrumental abilities. Their sophomore production, 2012’s “Somewhere on the Mountain,” is a message-oriented, introspective effort anchored by bass virtuoso Gubb.
“Lyrics are incredibly important to giving a message to fans and new listeners, but we keep the improvisation formula because we all love the idea that good music can be written on the spot,” Dempsey said. “So although there are written parts and lyrics, it’s very important to us to keep the idea of improvising.”
Currently on tour, Twiddle is making a stop at Agave on Thursday. In addition to the music they already know, fans will also hear a few tracks from “Live at Nectar,” which will be a double live album and the first with the band’s present lineup.
“Hopefully people will respond like they have to the music of the past and enjoy it,” Dempsey said. “The difference is that we have an incredible bass player now who has also written some of the songs that will be on this album and his contribution to the band has been substantial. But the new songs on this live album still keep the same feel and formula of song writing that we have stayed true to since the creation of Twiddle.”
Although the band has never played at Agave before, Dempsey said they are excited about making their way out west.
“We all love Colorado so much and we can’t wait to get back there,” he said. “We look forward to seeing old friends, making new friends and fans, and hopefully delivering a great memorable show for every venue we go to. Every time we go out there it’s different and we seem to be picking up more fans and we hope to continue that trend for this next tour.”